CN: Transphobia, sexism
If there’s one thing better than acting as if women have to vote for Hillary Clinton because she’s a woman, it’s being told young women only support Sanders because of their age. Bonus points if you tie youthful inexperience to desire for a man!
In a strange interview with Bill Maher, Steinem asserts that women “get more activist” as they grow older and that young women might flock to Bernie in an effort to meet men. For those of you who don’t want to suffer through an entire Bill Maher segment, the relevant portion starts around 3:34. About a minute later, Steinem drops this gem:
“When you’re young, you’re thinking, ‘Where are the boys?’ The boys are with Bernie!”
For once I feel like I had a similar reaction to Bill Maher: “Ooooo…”
Contrary to what Steinem may believe, young women are perfectly aware that the “D” next to Sanders’ name isn’t shorthand for, “We want the D!” We are well-informed voters capable of thinking with our brains and not just our ballot boxes (hey-o!). Not only is her comment heteronormative, but it’s exactly the same sort of patriarchal condescension that supposed feminists like Steinem should be fighting against.
Later in the interview, Steinem also joins Bill Maher for one of her old (supposedly disavowed) pastimes: transphobia.
Maher: “The woman of the year [Caitlyn Jenner] has a dick!”
Steinem: “And the highest-earning female in the corporate world [Martine Rothblatt], too, was a male previously.”
Maher: “There’s no rules anymore.”
I won’t rehash the litany of reasons young women might have for not wanting to support Hillary. There has been plenty of digital ink spilled there, as well as about the idea that trans women get residual male privilege. If Gloria Steinem wants to convince younger women to vote for Clinton, she’d benefit from ditching second-wave feminist reasoning and trying to learn from the people she’s maligning.
Featured Image by Marnie Joyce